Dark Shadows opens this week, whether we like it or not, but it does give us cause to pause for numerical consideration. No, we’re not talking about the amount of time since Tim Burton’s last film that was based on an original idea — that would be seven years, since Corpse Bride. Before that, you have to go clear back to 1990′s Edward Scissorhands, which was also (coincidentally enough) his first time working with Dark Shadows star Johnny Depp. Dark Shadows marks their eighth collaboration, which got us thinking about some of our favorite (and most productive, with a minimum of four pairings) actor/director teams. After the jump, we’ve compiled a dozen of the best from movie history; add your own in the comments, won’t you?
John Ford/John Wayne
TOTAL FILMS: 21
HIGHLIGHTS: Stagecoach (1939), The Quiet Man (1952), The Searchers (1956), The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance(1962)
The most frequent collaborators on our list were gruff filmmaker John “Pappy” Ford and tough guy star John “Duke” Wayne. They first worked together in Wayne’s breakthrough picture, Stagecoach (that movie-star entrance, above, is still a showstopper), and teamed twenty more times in the quarter-century that followed, for everything from the rustic Irish tale The Quiet Man to the 3 Men and a Baby forerunner 3 Godfathers to the Cavalry classic She Wore a Yellow Ribbon to arguably the finest Western ever made (and most influential, in terms of where the genre went), the complex and brilliant The Searchers.